The best advice I’ve ever received was during a gathering at a mentor’s house. She had invited her celebrity stylist friend to share her story of success in entertainment, with a group of young women, and I was one of many young women in the crowd that evening.
I’ll guess the question was along the lines of what is your advice to women getting started in “the industry”, and while that’s a question I’ve heard quite often, I have only heard the stylist’s answer once. The answer was—“Never let anyone compromise your integrity for any reason”. In other words: if you say it, you should mean it. It was insightful, it was powerful, and it was dope. It was just what I needed to hear in that moment, to last me forever, because what I started to notice was that the people who I considered to be most successful were the ones who we’re less apologetic about their decisions, words and actions.
That’s probably why I was so into the events of Super Bowl 50, last night. I mean—I’m a football fan, so I was going to be paying attention to the game anyway, but I’d be fronting if I didn’t say the hype around Cam and Bey didn’t take me back to that night, listening to the stylist speak.
There were so many moments when I felt the authenticity of what was happening. Cam’s dabs-- they were real. Cocky, perhaps, but definitely defiant and real. His tantrums, while seemingly inappropriate, they were the most honest and natural responses I would expect someone to have when they F&*^k up an opportunity and I appreciate that. OH! AND LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT THE PRESS CONFERENCE WALK OFF! You mean to tell me if you’re sitting in a meeting at work, and people are firing off questions about some mistakes you made, and you hear somebody LITERALLY talking shit about you and you’re mistakes, OUTLOUD... while you’re in this meeting, you’re not going to excuse yourself from the situation? Seriously? Since when is self-expression intended to make someone other than the expresser feel good? It’s cool I’ll wait…
And then there was Bey- the biggest celebrity alive right now- ‘Oncé and her Black Panther dancers, and their Black girl hair, singing about her Black cultural preferences, in the surprise video with #Blacklivesmatter images, chanting about significant cultural nuances like hot sauce in purses and red lobster treats… yea…It was real. It was real and it pissed some folks off.
I’ve seen numerous posts calling for apologies from Bey and Cam, and encouraging boycotts, because some people feel that Bey and Cam stepped a little to far outside of their own shadow for mainstream comfort. That's probably what's most commendable of it all. With all of the discontent, both parties are unapologetic. Everything they said, everything they did, every action they took, was what they wanted it to be. There were no lines to read between, yesterday. It was what it was.
Integrity at its best.